Thiruvananthapuram

Secularism as an antidote to fascism

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‘Silence of the public on violence a worrying aspect’.

The best way to fight communal fascism is to create awareness of secularism in society, historian K.N. Panikker has said. He was speaking at a protest meeting against communal fascism organised by various progressive organisations at the Gandhi Park here on Wednesday.

“We cannot fight fascism by occasional protest movements. They are relentless in their attack on the secular fabric. We need to change our modes of protest and should be able to come up with creative and continuous responses,” he said.

Referring to recent incidents, including the murders of rationalists and the Dadri incident, he said that these could not be termed as acts of intolerance, but were acts of cruelty, which was one of the basic characters of fascists. These incidents would incrementally lead to a society in which mutual love was lost.

Writer N.S. Madhavan asked those who were opposing the fascists to ‘never try to balance’ their criticism of extremists. “If you are attacking Islamist extremists, keep at it. Don’t try to balance it with some criticism of Hindutva extremism, or vice versa. The fascists will try to divert you with unrelated counter questions on past issues when you try to talk about a present problem. This has been a method they have employed for long,” he said. He said that the silence of the larger public through all these incidents was the most worrying aspect.

Writer Perumbadavam Sreedharan also spoke. Kannada writers Chetana Thirthahalli and Huchangi Prasad, who had to face verbal and physical attacks from right wing extremists, were felicitated at the function.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:52:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/secularism-as-an-antidote-to-fascism/article7817014.ece

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